Barefoot Kids

Barefoot Kids

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baby Steps, Big Changes in 21 days. I Challenge, You, World...

This challenge to you all is inspired by a relatively recent (2 years ago, ok I said relative) weight loss. Who'd have thought that saving sweets and treats to weekends and eating only one snack (of portion size) between meals would support a 25lb weight loss and maintenance for years to come? Also in lieu of more recent goals of mastering myself in Exercise Science and Health Promotion in order to follow a passion for playing my part in creating a healthier happier world....I'm creating a challenge for people of the world (however big this world of mine is, surrounding my blog and my life) to make a change. 1 small change in their health. We all want to be healthy, fit individuals though getting there is daunting when you think about diets, nutrition, vitamins/supplements, stretching, exercising, sleep, low stress, good food, bad food, moderation etc etc. It's a LOT to think about and it's hard to put the right foot forward when trying to achieve so many goals in so many different places. However, while difficult, it's not impossible. it takes dedication, accountability, strength, knowledge, perseverance, hope, flexibility, a goal and a plan.

According to Florida International University, and various other research sources out there, it takes 21 days to form a habit (or in our situation, a lifestyle change) and conversely 21 days to break a habit. So, with this in mind, knowing that if we can dedicate ourselves to one part of our health...we can form a healthy lifestyle habit in just 21 days, 3 weeks.
How it will happen:
1) What 1 thing would you like to change. (don't worry, if there's more than one...there will be more challenges to come)
2) What exactly do you want to do with this change, what's your goal?
3) Make a plan, how will you do this?
4) Educate yourself on how to make the change, find a way that makes it happen for you. Not everything, every technique will work exactly the same for everyone. Be flexible to make it suit your lifestyle..though be consistent in making it happen. So you love coffee, want to ditch the caffeine, try decaff or try half decaff half caff. Save caff for special occasions. What have you. Educate yourselves on how to do it, what's worked for others, what will work for you.
5) Mark your calendar and journal
6) Find a means to holding yourself accountable. Find a friend, a group, someone or something that will keep you honest along your journey.
7) Don't beat yourself up. If you slip up, get back up on that wagon and look upward and onward. Failure is feedback, learn something from your slip up.
8) reward yourself, don't deprive yourself of things that make the world a happier place. If chocolate brings you to a happy place, why deprive yourself of that small pleasure. Find a special time to indulge yourself. Find enjoyment and control over your indulgence to avoid over-doing it.
9) Pass it on, spread the word. A healthy world is a happier world
10) Smile, it releases endorphins
So....who's in? You can do this!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

MN BRS Group Run, 8 glorious miles in along Cannon River

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sausage Tortellini Soup

In preparation for Leah's 30th Birthday Soup and Wine party, searching for some good soups trying to figure out what soup we could pair with her favorite Butternut and Sausage soup (thicker, creamier soup)' I found a multitude of yummy soups, this time of year is so good for trying new soups! I may just have to try a new soup each week, though pleasing all 5 palates in the house will post a bit of a challenge. I stumbled upon a Sausage Tortellini recipe and decided to tweek it a bit to suit our family, and to my surprise this tweeking produced a very delicious, loved by most (4 out of 5 of us, though Max loved the tortellini-which were covered in the broth of the soup).
1lb pork sausage (I'll cut it back to 1/2lb next time, this was more than enough). The original recipe called for Sweet Italian Sausage (so I doctored up the pork sausage with a bit of paprika, brown sugar, parsley and salt). You could probably get away with plain pork sausage, italian sausage (spicy) or sweet italian sausage, use what your family would like I say
2 medium zucchini diced (or sliced, depending on how you like your zuchinni)
2 medium carrot, finely sliced into circles
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
6c beef broth
fresh or dried basil and oregano
1 pkg frozen cheese tortellini
In a large stockpot, brown your sausage with onions, garlic, basil and oregano to taste (about 1tsp each). Add zucchini, carrots, tomatoes and toss cooking over medium heat softening up the veggies. Add beef broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer for 30min. After 30min, add tortellini and cook for another 10min. And there you have it, delicious Sausage Tortellini soup.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Zensah Compression Running Leg Sleeve Review

First off, I must start my review with my very first impression of Zensah. My correspondence with representative Suzanne K. was pleasant; sincere, informative, prompt responses and a comfortable level professionalism. I find good customer service to play a very important roll in my buying experience, and give my thumbs up in Zensah's regard.
Secondly, their online site, is clean and streamline, and user friendly for shopping or browsing.
Thirdly, though certainly not leastly, the product. I received my pair of black S/M Running Leg Sleeves a week ago and have worn them on several occasions testing them out both during and after runs, Zumba and Belly Dance Fitness. My first impression of the leg sleeves was the quality of the fabric, the construction was uniquely patterned to support the different areas of the calf (shin and posterior calf muscle), fabric was durable yet soft and conducive to extended wear (I wore them for 4 hours the first day and experienced no discomfort while wearing them, nor after).
My first wear was after a day of a decent amount of physical activity (a 5mi barefoot run and an hour of Zumba, followed by a few hours of yard work with the kiddos), resulting in slightly achy calves. I slid the sleeves over my calves and immediately felt great support in my posterior calf (I don't tend to get shin splints so can't speak from that standpoint, though as a barefoot runner, dancer and dance fitness instructor I do experience occasional achy calf muscles).

My second experience was during a 5mi barefoot run earlier this week (45 degrees F, my coldest barefoot run as of yet) and to my surprise, my feet didn't experience the shock of the cold as much as they did during this morning's (45 degree) barefoot run (sans the leg sleeves). I'm not sure if this is related indirectly to the amount supported blood flow from lower extremities (feet/ankles/calves), though my feet appeared to stay warmer as a result of wearing the leg sleeves. I'll be testing this theory out again over the course of a few more runs with and without Zensah in varying temperatures, before making a solid assumption regarding this.

My third experience was during and after a Zumba class, with the level of impact I bring to my Zumba classes bringing the class up onto the balls of their feet, jumping, pivoting etc; my calves are typically aching for a good massage. I found that, the aching post Zumba wasn't as prominent or prolonged after having worn the leg sleeves. I will continue to wear the sleeves during class, again to make a more accurate assumption regarding their effectiveness on post Zumba calf aches.
Overall, my experience (as a barefoot runner, merchandise coordinator and reviewer for the Barefoot Runners Society and Zumba instructor) with Zensah Running Leg Sleeves was positive. I would recommend them (along with a good look and/or reevaluation of proper form, hydration and stretching post run/workout) to those looking to minimize shin and calf pain related to running, dancing, exercise.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lovely Little Cup of Tea and How to Decaff Your Own

Oh how a nice cup of tea makes the world go 'round, a day without tea is like a day without sunshine....
Perhaps it's my addiction, though I like to think of my tea and my tea times as mini sanctuaries amidst my chaotic days. They give me something small yet mighty to look forward to, the opportunity to slow down to steep a pot of loose leaf, to relax and sip away smiling after each warming sip. To my defense, however, I can't say that it's an addiction to the caffeine in my usual black up of Assam or Darjeeling; because I like to steep off about 80% of the caffeine via the GongFu method. Basically, this entails, steeping your leaves for about 25-30seconds, pouring off the liquid and resteeping for the suggested time (varies per tea, though my base is 3minutes for most black and green teas...herbals and tisanes are usually longer). There you have it, your beloved cup of tea, sans the caffeine. Caffeine makes me crazy, jittery, icky feeling...I found this most helpful during my pregnancies when caffeine is (or I should say used to be) a big no no (I think they allow you some in moderation now, which to be said about pretty much everything should be a rule of thumb).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chilied Black Beans over Rice

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chili ready diced tomatoes
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3c chicken broth
onion powder
In a stockpot, sautee onions, peppers and garlic in a bit of canola oil. Add cumin and onion powder (I like lots, about 1tsp each) and salt to taste. Add can of chili tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to boil then simmer on medium-low for 40min. Spoon over top of steamed white or brown rice and top with cilantro to taste.

For the love of Chia

Recommended by a friend, while I was searching around for ways to help boost brain function in my kids. Particularly, Olivia (now 7) who was diagnosed at age 6 with ADD (lacking the hyperactivity component). I'd done research regarding what nutrients are important for children with attention disorders, dha being very high on the list. DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, is an omega 3 fatty acid (just a few excellent sources include: chia, fish oil, flax and seaweed) which is a key element in the growth and development of the central nervous system. DHA is readily found in breastmilk (and now formula companies who have focused in on the importance of DHA).
A few other important minerals, supplements for attention disorders include magnesium and zinc and vitamin B-complex.
So back to chia, once I'd heard about chia seeds I started to of course do research on it's properties, nutritional value, importance in the human diet. I found that chia contain copious amounts of calcium, magnesium and zinc (score!), omega 3s easily converted to dha (double score!), fiber (can never go wrong with a little extra fiber in your diet), potassium, antioxidants and iron. This is like a wonderfood! Check here for a little bit of chia history and more info regarding it's nutritive properties.
Not only did I discover this important food for my family, I discovered that it's wonderful for distance runners. Providing nutrients and their hydrophilic properties allow the body retain hydration (because the seeds can retain 12 times their weight in water) and sustain electrolyte balance.
Our daily Agua Chia
premixed chia gel (2c water mixed with 1/3c dry seeds, whisk constantly for 10min or so)
Mix with lemonade
you'll have to give your glass a swirl from time to time to redistribute your chia as they like to coagulate near the top of your glass
Enjoy your superfood!